Story Behind the Painting: Big Sky Painting

Story Behind the Painting: Big Sky Painting

February 14, 2018


I have had this one huge canvas (36x36) sitting around forever! This poor thing has been moved around with me 4 times for the past few years. It is a used canvas that I got from a friend, who actually gave me several used canvases that are now all officially painted on! I'm not really sure but it looks like it was a hand made canvas made out of cloth. It had already been painted on and covered up once when I got. I had to put 3 layers of white paint over it before I could start painting on it.

  Anyways, I've had this canvas sitting around and never knew what on earth I was going to paint on it! I mean, what would look good supersized? One day I was exercising and watching a show at the same time (doesn't everybody!) and the scenery was just amazing in the show. I was watching Free Rein which is a horse show on Netflix. If you love horses, check it out. It's pretty cute! There were a few scenes of basically the whole screen was the sky and very little land on the bottom. Suddenly it hit me, a big sky painting is perfect for the huge canvas!


My next step was what type of sky and where will my reference photo come from? I remembered that I have a whole disc of stock photos of landscapes laying around somewhere at home. I browsed over 650 photos! Picked out my favorites and the one above shown here is what won. 


Luckily I had just rearranged my whole art room so now I actually had room to work on such a big piece. Like I said, it took several layers of white paint to cover the paint underneath. You can still see some of the texture from the previous painting which I think gives the painting character and looks cool!


I started out with the top and worked down. I laid out the clouds as I worked down. I tried several techniques and brushes before I found what worked the best. My goal with this painting was to take my time, use the reference photo as a guide and lose myself in the painting. And try to create my best clouds ever :) All paintings go through the "ugly stage" and this one took a long time to get beyond that stage.


 I slowly worked on it, listening to different music and a couple of audible books. Which I picked out a simple book so that when I wasn't really listening to it, I could still figure out what was going on. Little by little I picked at the painting and forced myself to work on it when it just wasn't looking right. It finally got passed the "what am I doing stage" to "It's looking better" stage. I was having a hard time getting the colors right and to get them to blend properly since acrylic dries so fast. As I was getting close to finishing it I forced myself to keep working on it and improve it as much as I see fit. Next time I will try to remember to take pictures of the brushes that I used. I added some wispy clouds floating over some of the big ones towards the end. Gives it a little more depth.


 In the end, I'm really glad with how it has turned out and is now hanging downstairs in my house!





I haven't officially named it yet but it might just be dubbed as Big Sky since that is what I refer to it. I'm open to names for it so if you have an idea for a name, put it in the comments below. I would love to hear them!


Hope you enjoyed!





Original and prints will be available soon!

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